Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I remember those days when I looked forward to return home from college just to observe the family of seven squirrels who lived in our mango tree. They were spirited little things, scampering about the backyard with such enthusiasm, that they invoked the same in me. In the sultry afternoons, when everyone slumbered, they would play peek-a-boo in the garden, and one would look for them for a nice escape from the mundane regularity of life. They scavenged our dustbins, which I thought was rather unfitting, so I provided them with some peanuts, (later shifted over to cashews and pista nuts much to the rage of my mother) which they absolutely loved. . It was something of a mixture of childish curiosity mingled with a sense miraculous wonder that overcame me as I stood quietly watching them from behind the crack in the door, nibbling away on peanuts. They enterained me for many happy days, until, by the end of summer we found dead squirrels in the water tank, and the rest disappeared from the mango tree forever. It is since then that I have bitterly understood that it is unwise to try and tame wild animals, or punishingly increase their dependence on us.
From six months, one particular squirrel started intruding into our lives. She had the nerves of steel, I must say, boldly scuttling into the house without a moment’s hesitation. She missed the frying pan by inches one day, surprising my mom. She made her presence apparent by chewing away some of my comics, and pieces of a teddy bear named fluffy. Her favorite place was the Atta where we store our winter quilts and unused stuff. It was this Monday I discovered that she has given birth to 2 adorable young ones in the Atta. They are bald little things, very tiny and bleakly-eyed, but are growing real well. I have tried, many times to get their picture but the little things scamper away so fast…I have figured it is impossible. Besides, I am not a very good photographer. I have now taken to spending half my day at the Dining table, doing everything from reading to dreaming right there, keeping a vigil, trying to look out for those little ones screeching above my head. Everything from the way they clean their tails to their manipulative methods of trying to steal the chickoo on the dining table are delights to watch. It has my mother enraged of course, but I welcome them quite cheerfully. A day shall come when they venture out into the wide open to explore the world which is not our dining room, but until then, I shall be thankful that they are just there, making my life more colourful and meaningful by the day.
(I shall return to blogging next Monday after COMED-K exams to tell you how I have done and how my squirrels are doing! :) )